On 21st June, Mary raised the issue of school transport at St Leonard’s in Parliament.

Mary asked Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, to meet with her before the Summer Holidays to discuss the issue of increased travel costs which will see some students be charged £20 more per month to travel into school.

While St Leonard’s school in Durham has done their best to subsidise the cost of school transport for families over the last year, they can no longer afford to do so and for some, the cost per student will rise from £50 to £70 a month.

Can the Education Secretary explain what the Government is doing to protect families in Durham from this increased and unexpected cost, and will he meet with me before the summer holidays to discuss school transport?

Gavin Williamson did not take up Mary’s invitation for a meeting himself, however a meeting with the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb, has been arranged and Mary is looking forward to advocating on behalf of school students in the constituency and attempting to find solutions with the Department for Education.

Here is Williamson’s answer to the question:

Well if the honourable lady would be kind enough to sort of send in, the, more of the details as to the issues she’s raised I’d be happy to organise further minister of state for schools to meet with her to discuss this in finer details, and some of her concerns and may be some of the challenges that may be the Local Authority are facing and what needs to be done by DCC.

Following the question Mary responded:

I am disappointed that the Secretary of State did not respond directly to my question about school transport in Durham. I do, however, look forward to the meeting with Nick Gibb, the Minister for Schools, on 20th July about this important issue where I intend to make a strong case on behalf of the families that this increase in cost effects.

Asking the Secretary of State for Education about this issue reaffirms Mary’s commitment to ‘Bring Durham Together’. It also highlights Mary’s work in advocating for the people of the City of Durham.

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